OSU Libraries licenses access to a variety of databases, online journals, ebooks, streaming videos, and other electronic resources to support research and teaching at Oregon State University. We strive to promote discovery and user support, ensure access to content and formats needed by the community, and advocate for user data privacy. The Electronic Use Policy also draws upon OSULP’s Privacy Policy.

The agreements for these resources specify who can access them, how they may be used, and OSU’s liabilities if we fail to ensure users comply with these terms.  The service providers of these products may suspend access for the entire OSU community if the terms of the license are violated by any user. Though each license is different, the following information applies to the majority of resources licensed at OSU. If you have a question about a specific resource, please consult with us.


Using Electronic Resources

Who May Access

  • Active students and employees affiliated with OSU who have an authorized ONID account.
  • “Walk-in” or “on-site” users of the library resources conducting personal or educational research while at an OSU Valley Library computer terminal may access most electronic resources.

Requesting Access When Your ONID is Not Authorized

Because not all ONID users automatically have access to electronic resources, it may be necessary to submit an additional request for access. OSULP staff will review requests and determine eligibility based on the Library Electronic Services Matrix.


Request Access


Accessing Library Electronic Resources from Off-Campus

Most online resources provided by OSU Libraries are available for off-campus users with authorized ONID accounts via the library's proxy service. Some resources may only work off-campus with OSU's VPN service


When a Resource Requires a Separate User Account 

  • An individual account may be required by the resource provider’s platform in order to access some (or all) of the content. 
  • An individual account may also be necessary to utilize all of the features offered by the resource (such as saving a list of search results or bookmarking/notating ebook pages).
  • Please Contact Us with your questions about any particular resource’s individual account policies.

Examples of Encouraged Use 

  • Incorporating persistent links or permalinks to online content in a learning management system, course pages, and other sites.  
    • Using persistent links (aka permalinks) helps us accurately evaluate resource usage so we can make informed purchasing decisions.
  • Downloading, storing, or printing individual articles, chapters, and search results for personal, educational, and research needs.
  • Using portions of the licensed materials, in agreement with fair use, in the process of conducting scholarly communication activities such as writing (for publication, theses, course projects, etc.) as long as appropriate acknowledgement is given.
  • Research sometimes involves bulk computer generated analysis of collections of materials; please consult with us about clearing such activities with database providers.


Activities Not Allowed

  • Systematically or programmatically downloading content from electronic resources. This includes, but is not limited to: 
    • Downloading entire journal issues
    • Using scripts, spiders, crawlers, or other computer programs to automatically download content
  • Removing, obscuring, or modifying copyright notices.
  • Reverse engineering, decompiling, disassembling, or otherwise altering, framing, or simulating the appearance of licensed content.


Content of this policy was informed by these sites:







Last Review: 5/25/22